Tape measure for small measurements?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by pashley posted 08-02-2010 02:07 PM 2342 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View pashley's profile


1044 posts in 3893 days

08-02-2010 02:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tape

Is it just me that gets a bit frustrated with tape measures?

If you want to make a small measurement with the ususal tape measure, say, 5/8s, you can’t, because the dang hook at the beginning of the tape hides almost the whole first inch! The rivets that hold on the hook don’t help either.

I understand the companies are trying to make a tough hook stay attached to the end, but do they need to make it useless for small measurements?

-- Have a blessed day!

24 replies so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18380 posts in 3851 days

#1 posted 08-02-2010 02:10 PM

You have to burn an inch with those small measurements. Start at the 1 inch line and go from there, the hook won’t be in the way:-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3467 days

#2 posted 08-02-2010 02:12 PM

For less risk of a misread, I prefer to burn 10 inches. That way the second digit of my new zero is….zero. I also use a precision 6” ruler.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18380 posts in 3851 days

#3 posted 08-02-2010 02:15 PM

I burn inches off the tape on both ends, going every which direction, depending on what I am measuring or trying to figure out. :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3843 days

#4 posted 08-02-2010 02:22 PM

If its under 12” I dont bother to use a tape. Combination square is my go to

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View CampD's profile


1724 posts in 3662 days

#5 posted 08-02-2010 02:24 PM

If your in the shop, steel machinests ruler is best.
I have 6” ones placed at the assembly bench & table saw, little magnets keep them in place
so they dont get lost like pencils.

-- Doug...

View pvwoodcrafts's profile


244 posts in 4097 days

#6 posted 08-02-2010 02:34 PM

I keep a steel center rule and folding rule close by

-- mike & judy western md. www.

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3161 days

#7 posted 08-02-2010 03:21 PM

I have 6” calipers – if it will fit in the calipers, I use them to measure it, not a tape. It’s worked pretty well for me so far.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 3888 days

#8 posted 08-02-2010 03:42 PM

For those short measures I use a steel rule as well, usually the tape measure is too scuffed up on that first inch to read clearly anyway…maybe I just need to take better care of my tapes LOL!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3244 days

#9 posted 08-02-2010 03:47 PM

As handy as they are, tape measures really aren’t intended for really precise work. Those hooks are designed to stand up under pretty severe use where tolerances aren’t really tight.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View PurpLev's profile


8541 posts in 3824 days

#10 posted 08-02-2010 03:51 PM

why use a tape for such small measurements- the tap itself will be in the way more than the hook… just use a ruler/square

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3367 days

#11 posted 08-02-2010 04:16 PM

My very favorite measuring tape of all time –

-- The Wood Nerd --

View pashley's profile


1044 posts in 3893 days

#12 posted 08-02-2010 06:25 PM

I like a small tape ruler, because I do small projects, but occasionally like to measure up to 8 feet or so. I like this Johnson one – it has a lot of great features, especially the clear hook piece. I just wish it wasn’t so huge; I like to keep my tape in my little apron pocket, and this wouldn’t be a good fit. Nice tape though, otherwise.

Steel rulers are nice, yes, but I don’t think they come with an edge hook for easy measurement?

Maybe I ought to invent the ultimate woodworker (as opposed to carpenter) tape ruler, make a million bucks, and retire in Tahiti?

-- Have a blessed day!

View CampD's profile


1724 posts in 3662 days

#13 posted 08-02-2010 07:44 PM

Yes they have ones with edge hooks.

-- Doug...

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 4068 days

#14 posted 08-02-2010 09:15 PM

I use a 12” steel, center finder ruler that’s marked in 1/16”. It’s heavily used in my shop every day.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3284 days

#15 posted 08-03-2010 04:54 AM

For small measurements, I use my 6 inch combination square, 12 inch for the slightly larger projects. When I am working on a cut list, I prefer a wooden, fold out ruler and a saddle layout gauge. If I am using the jointer/planer, calipers are pretty much a necessity. I have learned, over time, that my tape measure is nearly an 8th off on measurements if I use the hook. As others have stated, I usually start at the one foot marker for longer measurements and subtract a foot to zero in a little more accurately.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

showing 1 through 15 of 24 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics